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radprole
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Nov 7 2011 20:38

Since the other thread has been locked by the admins of libcom, I also believe that it's necessary to copy here some really important exchanges that have taken place in the other thread in order to continue the discussion.

Fallback wrote:
I'm finding it hard to motivate a reply here, as I'm pretty tired of dealing with all the goalpost-shifting mudslinging that has taken up far too much time already (not an attempt to "shut down debate” - this is all hosted on libcom ffs - but rather a statement of fact: spending time on this has seriously distracted from srs bsns politics). But I do think there are serious and important issues at stake here, so I shall perservere. Namely: if this shit passes so easily when so little is at stake (no one is being kneecapped or shot, revolutionaries aren't being locked up wholesale...) then it terrifies me where we'll be when the shit hits the fan and the state starts sowing serious division. So, on that basis alone, I shall perservere for now.

As Arbeiten said earlier tho, the thread(s) are just going round and round – there is far more quantity than substance here. One minute the charge is that J's a paid agent of the state designing counter-class struggle tactics across europe, next minute it's shifted to 'oh well he spoke about social identity at an academic conference in 2001'. I suspect the move to this one by our budding witchfinders is that they know very few people will be bothered to read the tens (maybe hundreds) of thousands of words on the other thread, TPTG and Samotnaf letters and Aufheben response, and will just assume from all the muck here that J must have done something. However, with charges like this, there isn't a “reasonable middle ground” to be found – the allegations are either true or they're not. If they're not, there may still be issues to discuss, but these are completely obscured by the prosection's shrill accusations that anyone who disagrees with them is in league with the cops ('the defence team' etc).

The main issues of authorship of the 2 main pieces has been on over and over in the main thread. If you've followed it all, and don't believe that J didn't write them (or you think it doesn't matter because his name was on it, or just that any contact with the police/those who work with the police is unacceptable) then there's nothing much more that can be done to convince – the prosecution have already declared that any evidence that is presented is not enough, that it must be faked. But I'd urge people to actually read the material in question before assuming a “reasonable middle-ground” stance. And if you don't believe Aufheben, instead of speculating about it, just ask them to back it up like libcom did. Apparently nobody has yet done this in four weeks, yet for far less time and effort than put into public denunciations anyone could have sent them an email saying 'this looks dodgy, can you back up your explanation?'. A really basic step with charges this serious (and as Juan Conatz and others have mentioned, a courtesy extended to actual paid agents of the state, but conspicuously not in the far less serious case here).

Of course, even though he didn't write the papers but simply allowed his name to be used on them, this was a mistake (as Aufheben and J have been open about that from the off). Fucking hell, having wasted endless hours on this shit, I know this as much as anyone. But this isn't really the issue – the allegation is not that someone made a mistake, or should be more careful what his name ends up on. Rather the prosecution are determined to show that J (and by extension Aufheben) are eternally damned assets of the state and that his work has played a major role in the "pacifying the class struggle" across Europe. The prosecution seek to use peoples' (understandable) unease at seeing a communists name next to policing related papers and expand this into a much grander narrative with no basis in fact. Just showing he made a mistake isn't juicy enough – as we've seen, people have tired of this – even of those who followed the thread at first, very few people retain an interest any more.

Similarly, the charges that J “trains cops” in crowd control has been refuted again and again. He has spoken about social identity at conferences where police have been, yes, and has spoken to the police about mass emergencies (not protest tactics or class conflict). Again, it might be a mistake (I'm fairly open minded on this tbh – I think it's less of a fuck up than letting his name be on the papers, certainly), but does critiquing police responses to crowd situations constitute 'training the police to pacify class struggle'? No. J's work as a whole is a critique of the police as being a major cause of disorder in crowd situations - an argument made again and again by all kinds of radicals without criticism, I would add. However, from J writing as an academic, there's nothing particularly radical about this. Contrary to claims elsewhere, J doesn't see his work as being “radical” or part of a communist project – it's just his job. As said earlier, J is no more a “radical academic” than a communist bricklayer is a “radical bricklayer”. This is exactly what the Aufheben critique of “radical academia” is about. J's situation isn't so much in contradiction to this position as the basis of it (he's the sole academic in Aufheben).

Now, is there an issue that even stuff written with benign intent could later be taken on an used for adverse reasons? Sure, of course. It's a perfectly valid discussion. But does it tie in with the case that the prosecution are making against J? Again, no, it doesn't. The case being made is that he is actively and consciously working for the class enemy. In the view of some of the prosecution, he not only doing this, but is deliberately infiltrating movements in order to give the police secret knowledge to suppress them. If people want to have the wider debate here, then sure, go for it – but as people have raised, you are then left with the problem that almost anything written about class struggle can be used against us. Just as we wouldn't persecute someone who had written an account of say, a subversive workplace action if it was found by bosses and used to inform counter-strategy. Even if J's work was used in order to police dissent (which as has been repeatedly pointed out on the other thread, it hasn't been because it's not applicable to situations where there is an underlying conflict of interests between police and the crowd), then this is still entirely different to being a paid agent of capital, actively working for the other side.

As has been said repeatedly, J's work is not about how to police crowds in the slightest. It is the exact opposite: a critique of the police approach. J's work argues that police tactics are a cause of violence, and calls for emergency situations to not be treated as public order situations at all. In his mass emergencies work (his overwhelming focus) it even goes as far as to argue that the police shouldn't even be present in some emergencies. Unless you have a 'never talk to the police under any circumstances stance', I really find it hard to see much issue with this. Is there really a problem with a communist in a work capacity saying - and yes, telling - police shouldn't treat disaster situations (or by extension other crowd situations that aren't inherently hostile) as being public order situations? If it has any real-world consequences at all, it would mean the police stop repressing survivors of disasters. Not revolutionary or anything, but probably a good thing ('worthwhile and humane' rather than political, as Aufheben/J put it).

What I do find interesting here is how in the process of trying to attribute the views of Reicher and Stott on public order to J (despite J's explicit rejection of them), the prosecution mirror several of Reicher and Stott's core assumptions. Say for the sake of argument we follow the various logical leaps that lead us to 'ESIM methods being utilised to pacify class struggle', are we really to believe that society is so free of antagonism that if the police just act nicer and don't attack people indiscriminately, then this will stifle class struggle? That all the state has to do in order to pacify class conflict is to not hit liberals? That's what Reicher and Stott believe as liberal/leftist human rights types, and apparently, it's also what the prosecution believe. We're not talking about some magic mind control super science here – if you actually read the academic papers, this is pretty much the only insight the police could gain from his work (in laymans terms 'if you piss people off they kick off against you'). The ESIM ('Elaborated Social Identity Model') is an ontology of the crowd. It's not about kettling, developing tactics for isolating out militants or whatever else it's been accused of. It's actually pretty banal, which I suspect is why so few people have bothered to read it, and why the prosecution have barely quoted any of J's work except to try and snip bits out of context to imply sinister intent or to go on bizarre polemics about 'psychologism'.

But if you realise that the liberal worldview of 'harmonious interests if only the police are nice' is patently ridiculous, then what? How then has the work been used to police class struggle? The ESIM model, by it's very nature, can't be applied to hostile crowds. You can't peacefully facilitate a riot or a picket line shutting down a workplace if your social function is to prevent these things. What are the police going to do, stand by and let looters empty a high street? Sit and watch while pickets shut down a factory? To be honest if J had somehow secretly managed to convince the police that they should do this, I'd probably think it was brilliant. But I don't, because it obviously hasn't happened and isn't going to.

Anyway, there's another chunk of my life I'm not getting back. But I'd implore those who aren't in the prosecution to actually look at what is being alleged and what is said in response, and read the main thread. Even if you think J has fucked up (or worse), then please at least look at what he's actually done and not the chimerical, ever-shifting trumped up charges of the prosectution. At the very worst (I don't accept this in the slightest, but just for argument's sake), he's done work that could subsequently be used by the police to justify more 'hands-off' tactics. This is a million miles away from the various charges being thrown about so casually by the assembled anonymous interlocutors. He hasn't given the state new tactics to police class struggle, he doesn't train police in public order situations and he isn't a fucking infiltrator. For all the talk about 'would you stand next to him on a demo', it's not people in Brighton making a fuss over this, it's people in Greece, France, the US and god knows where who will never even face that supposed dilemma. If you've followed the whole thing and still think he's crossed the line then I'm probably not going to be able to convince you. But at least be clear about what he has actually done. None of it comes close to the various charges the prosecution have made, and even if there is a problem here, it's not the one that is being presented.

radprole wrote:
This is the first time that I write in Libcom but after reading about this incredible story and how some supposedly revolutionary people reacted to it I felt obliged to intervene... I have read carefully the texts mentioned as well as the evidence provided by Blasto in another thread and the whole discussion in this and the previous thread.

First, I would like to comment on the claim of Fallback that the charges raised against J shift all the time. Sorry fellows, I don’t have this impression. For me it’s clear that J is accused of being a police consultant who used experience which he was able to gather through his participation in social struggles in order to define the ESIM model according to which specific guidelines for the policing of protests and mass emergencies have been determined.

As far as I have seen no evidence at all has been presented for the claim that he did not co-author the two articles in policing journals. We are expected to accept unconditionally the claim of Aufheben that he did not co-author them and that he disagrees with them when he has not even removed the “knowledge-based policing” one from the list of the “Selected Publications” from his University profile. Not to mention that it is totally absurd to believe that he repeated the same mistake two times, supposedly for a better academic record, when one of the publications (in Jane’s Police Review) does not count research-wise since Police Review is not a scholarly peer-reviewed journal.

As far as the charges that J trains cops are concerned, sorry again fellows, there are no refutations to be found. How on earth can the Police CBRN Consultancy (http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/police-cbrn-consultancy.pdf) be refuted? The specific consultancy was given by J alone and its content includes the following advice: “Successful policing of potentially disorderly crowds involves Communication of police aims, facilitating the crowd’s legitimate aims in order to empower self-policing in the majority, a graded response to potential disorder”.

How can you refute the fact that J was the organizer of a Continued Professional Development course in the University of Sussex entitled “The psychology of crowd management” whose description contains the following: “This CPD course is aimed at all professionals who work with, or plan around, crowd events, including the emergency services, event organizers, stewarding organizations, stadium managers, health and safety officers, emergency/resilience planners and business continuity managers. Crowding and public safety, emergencies, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and the potential for crowd conflict and disorder are some of the most pressing contemporary hazards. Those who work with crowds depend upon knowledge of crowd behaviour in order to manage these risks "(http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/cpd_sussex.pdf). Why these references have disappeared from his university site?

Further, the conference that was mentioned before by Blasto and held in 2001 had a specific policing content (we’re talking about the 6th international conference of Investigative Policing with participants from worldwide police forces) and there J did not talk about “mass emergencies” but about “intergroup dynamics at an anti-road protest”, i.e. about the dynamics between police and protesters in the “anti-road protest”.

About the supposed inapplicability of “J’s work… to situations where there is an underlying conflict of interests between police and the crowd”, it seems that Fallback has not read his papers or deliberately misrepresents them. As far as I have read it’s clear that J has written about situations where there are different groups within the crowd with different attitudes in relation to legality, peaceful or violent means, etc. According to what he has written the tactics of the police can either promote the unification of the crowd or help in the preservation or deepening of divisions that may lead to self-policing and even moderation in the case of the “violent minorities”. We all know that contrary to what Fallback asserts, the crowd does not usually face police in a uniform way even if “there is an underlying conflict of interests between the state and the crowd”. There are always conflicting interests, viewpoints and practices within the crowd itself.

Regarding the issue of “emergencies” I have to note that according to my reading J calls for emergency situations to be treated cautiously by the police (similarly to the graded policing of protests) because of the existing danger of turning a public safety situation into one of public disorder (see http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/police-cbrn-consultancy.pdf). It’s widely known that this is one of the main problems that the police and the state in general face when they manage a mass emergency. Usually, people self-organize to satisfy their needs, proceed to expropriation of goods, etc, etc. The whole approach by J is about how the state would better manage such situations (that’s why the specific niche is called “crowd management”). Sorry fellows, I cannot find anything “worthwhile and humane” in this shit…

Finally, contrary to what Fallback says, the work of Reicher, Stott and J is not only about “ontology”. If it was only about that there would be no great problem. The issue is that they have designed specific guidelines that have descriptions of police tactics reaching details such as the removal of masks, banners, etc (“These conditions might include the removal of clothing that obscures individual identity, abandoning placards, bottles and other objects that could be used as weapons.” Knowledge-based policing).

Regarding what Steven says about the supposed insignificance of the issue with references to the “general strike in Oakland” and other ongoing struggles, I would like to point out that police repression is never an unimportant issue and this is clearly shown by the post "Crowds, protest and police" in the blog of the Madison Police Chief David Couper which was discovered by Blasto that specifically references the work of J (http://improvingpolice.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/crowds-protest-and-police/) in the context of the Occupy movement (and Oakland in particular).

For me it’s totally outrageous to ask “even if what he did was all that bad, what would that mean”! It seems that for some people the fact that J used his connections and experience from his participation in the social struggles to help police is insignificant… I have no words to express my anger about this… I have no words to express my terrible anger that persons like “Steven” express their worries about collaborating and trusting Samotnaf who had the stomach to take the initiative on this important issue and have no problem with cop collaborators and consultants such as J. Shame on us

Steven wrote:
radprole wrote:
As far as I have seen no evidence at all has been presented for the claim that he did not co-author the two articles in policing journals. We are expected to accept unconditionally the claim of Aufheben that he did not co-author them and that he disagrees with them when he has not even removed the “knowledge-based policing” one from the list of the “Selected Publications” from his University profile.

well, the guy himself says that he didn't co-author them. You may not believe him, but that is still evidence. It is also clear from his political perspective (not to mention his own words) that he does not agree with that perspective. Furthermore, some people including us in the libcom group have seen the original e-mails which prove that he didn't co-author them, but agreed to have his name on them for the kudos of an author credit. Again, you may not believe us but that is also evidence. And I certainly would have no reason to lie on behalf of someone I have never met, have no idea what he even looks like and have never spoken to him online or in person in any way.

He acknowledges that allowing himself to be credited as an author was an error on his part in terms of his image in the milieu, but him not being credited wouldn't have made any difference to the articles in any way.

Quote:
As far as the charges that J trains cops are concerned, sorry again fellows, there are no refutations to be found. How on earth can the Police CBRN Consultancy (http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/police-cbrn-consultancy.pdf) be refuted? The specific consultancy was given by J alone and its content includes the following advice: “Successful policing of potentially disorderly crowds involves Communication of police aims, facilitating the crowd’s legitimate aims in order to empower self-policing in the majority, a graded response to potential disorder”.

as is clear, and as Aufheben acknowledge, he has recently given presentations to the emergency services (which obviously includes police) about dealing with mass emergencies, which he has to do as part of his job. The police being involved in dealing with mass emergencies is not something which has held back class struggle in this country. This does leave him open to having his revolutionary purity attacked by individuals with grudges, however plenty of workers as I said including social workers, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, etc need to work with police, especially in emergency situations and to me that doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed in the communist scene (whatever that would mean anyway!)

Quote:
How can you refute the fact that J was the organizer of a Continued Professional Development course in the University of Sussex entitled “The psychology of crowd management” whose description contains the following: “This CPD course is aimed at all professionals who work with, or plan around, crowd events, including the emergency services, event organizers, stewarding organizations, stadium managers, health and safety officers, emergency/resilience planners and business continuity managers. Crowding and public safety, emergencies, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and the potential for crowd conflict and disorder are some of the most pressing contemporary hazards. Those who work with crowds depend upon knowledge of crowd behaviour in order to manage these risks "(http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/cpd_sussex.pdf). Why these references have disappeared from his university site?

he didn't organise it, he does do it as part of his job though. But again are you saying that no one should research how to deal safely with crowds in emergency situations? Clearly that would be ridiculous. Are you saying that someone who does shouldn't be allowed to be a communist? Or what?

Quote:
Further, the conference that was mentioned before by Blasto and held in 2001 had a specific policing content (we’re talking about the 6th international conference of Investigative Policing with participants from worldwide police forces) and there J did not talk about “mass emergencies” but about “intergroup dynamics at an anti-road protest”, i.e. about the dynamics between police and protesters in the “anti-road protest”

.

this is the only thing that has anything to do with protest struggle - and this was 10 years ago. He stopped doing research work related to protests, in part at least (or maybe entirely, I'm not sure) due to political concerns he had with this work.

Quote:
For me it’s totally outrageous to ask “even if what he did was all that bad, what would that mean”!

yes, how totally unacceptable to ask what his detractors actually want? Because then some of you might actually have to come up with a practical proposal rather than just have a go at someone on the Internet.
What you think should happen to J because of this? Should he not be allowed to write for Aufheben anymore? And instead do his own blog which Aufheben readers would still read, because we like them? Or do you want to beat him up, or to stop being a communist and be a Liberal Democrat, or what?

Quote:
I have no words to express my terrible anger that persons like “Steven” express their worries about collaborating and trusting Samotnaf who had the stomach to take the initiative on this important issue and have no problem with cop collaborators and consultants such as J. Shame on us

Maybe you should switch to decaf.

If you could point to any communists who have been exposed to victimisation or repression, or any proletarian struggles which have been set back due to J's work then please do and I will take it into consideration.

Samotnaf deliberately broke our site guidelines and publicly named a communist, his political affiliation and his employer on a site which he knows that employers, police and journalists read. This is out of order.

no1 wrote:
radprole wrote:
As far as the charges that J trains cops are concerned, sorry again fellows, there are no refutations to be found. How on earth can the Police CBRN Consultancy (http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/police-cbrn-consultancy.pdf) be refuted? The specific consultancy was given by J alone and its content includes the following advice: “Successful policing of potentially disorderly crowds involves Communication of police aims, facilitating the crowd’s legitimate aims in order to empower self-policing in the majority, a graded response to potential disorder”.

What is there to refute? The Aufheben statement talked from the beginning about mass emergencies. Is your position that any contact with police whatsoever is unacceptable, and that it is wrong to play a role in designing the response to mass emergencies because police are involved in that response?

radprole wrote:
Regarding the issue of “emergencies” I have to note that according to my reading J calls for emergency situations to be treated cautiously by the police (similarly to the graded policing of protests) because of the existing danger of turning a public safety situation into one of public disorder (see http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/police-cbrn-consultancy.pdf). It’s widely known that this is one of the main problems that the police and the state in general face when they manage a mass emergency. Usually, people self-organize to satisfy their needs, proceed to expropriation of goods, etc, etc. The whole approach by J is about how the state would better manage such situations (that’s why the specific niche is called “crowd management”). Sorry fellows, I cannot find anything “worthwhile and humane” in this shit…

What are you actually taking issues with? Do you think mass emergencies - like the Hillsborough disaster, Katrina, sarin on the Tokyo underground, Bhopal - have revolutionary potential if only the police reveal their violent and repressive nature by contributing to death, injury and trauma? This could be the implication of your comments.
Also, it may be that your cognitive abilities are clouded by this witchhunt, but the document you link to attributes disorder to police treating crowds as though they are the problem and liable to 'mass panic'. It advises that instead the police should avoid making things worse by trying to limit themselves to effective communication. What's worthwhile and humane about is that this may stop the police from causing more people getting killed, injured and traumatised. Do you want more Hillsboroughs?

radprole wrote:
Steven wrote:
Furthermore, some people including us in the libcom group have seen the original e-mails which prove that he didn't co-author them, but agreed to have his name on them for the kudos of an author credit.

As I mentioned before the Jane's Police Review publication is not a scientific one, so there are no kudos there. Further, if you read "Chaos Theory" it's completely clear that the research on protest crowd control is completely linked with the research on mass emergencies, with the latter presented as a development of their common work. From my little knowledge of scientific work, it's clear that each author writes a specific part of the article and assumes responsibility for the whole. If he disagrees with the article he can always make a public retraction. Of course I totally doubt that he will do so, since he has chosen to keep the specific entry in his "selected publications" list (i.e. the most important ones).

Steven wrote:
as is clear, and as Aufheben acknowledge, he has recently given presentations to the emergency services (which obviously includes police) about dealing with mass emergencies, which he has to do as part of his job. The police being involved in dealing with mass emergencies is not something which has held back class struggle in this country.

The content of the specific Police CBRN consultancy which he alone offered is not restricted to "dealing with mass emergencies". In particular, it is divided into three main themes (check the link: http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/police-cbrn-consultancy.pdf):

1. "Psychology of crowd behaviour and public disorder" (where you can find the advice quoted before)

"Knowledge based policing means understanding the identity of each crowd.
- Certain police practices can contribute to disorder through:
o Empowering a crowd (turning an aggregate into a unity)
o Legitimizing anti-police elements
- Successful policing of potentially disorderly crowds involves
o Communication of police aims
o Facilitating the crowd’s legitimate aims in order to empower self-policing in the majority
o A graded response to potential disorder
"

2. "Psychology of mass emergencies and disasters"

3. "Specificity of managing crowd behaviour in CBRN incidents"

Therefore what you say is inaccurate and misleading. How do you expect us then to trust you with regard to your reassurances that "he hasn't co-authored the two articles"?

Steven wrote:
he didn't organise it, he does do it as part of his job though. But again are you saying that no one should research how to deal safely with crowds in emergency situations? Clearly that would be ridiculous. Are you saying that someone who does shouldn't be allowed to be a communist? Or what?

What you say about the CPD course is also false. I did not refer to the CPD course organized by Stott in Liverpool, but to the CPD course organized by J in the University of Sussex. Moreover, it is not

Quote:
research how to deal safely with crowds in emergency situations

According to the description of the CPD course its content is the following:

"As distinct from existing practitioner-led courses, this course presents the latest scientific research and thinking in crowd psychology. It is intended to ground crowd management professionals in core concepts and principles transferable across a variety of domains, as well as presenting rationales for practice in specific areas.

Topics covered will include: types of crowds; models of crowding and crowd behaviour; mass emergency behaviour: ‘mass panic’?; crowd protests, conflict and ‘public (dis)order’. There will also be opportunity for discussion around specialist issues such as communication; CBRN; facilitating crowd resilience; public responses to pandemics; and crowd self-policing." (emphases are mine).

Steven wrote:
this is the only thing that has anything to do with protest struggle - and this was 10 years ago.

According to the previous information, what you claim is totally inaccurate.

Steven wrote:
What you think should happen to J because of this? Should he not be allowed to write for Aufheben anymore?

Clearly, the obvious thing to do would be to be kicked out of Aufheben and of the libertarian communist milieu and to ensure that he will not have access to interviews with protest participants that would be later used for police consultancies. It's f...g elementary...

Steven wrote:
If you could point to any communists who have been exposed to victimisation or repression, or any proletarian struggles which have been set back due to J's work then please do and I will take it into consideration

As far as I have read their model has been implemented with success in at least one case: the policing of anti-war demonstrations in Sweden. Therefore, it was used to successfully repress the more radical tendencies of the movement there (see Chaos Theory) and it may have serious implications for loads of people in the future.

no1 wrote:
Do you think mass emergencies - like the Hillsborough disaster, Katrina, sarin on the Tokyo underground, Bhopal - have revolutionary potential if only the police reveal their violent and repressive nature by contributing to death, injury and trauma?

The issue is not about appearances ("the police revealing their violent and repressive nature") but about concrete implications. The guidelines provided by J aim at the avoidance of situations where "mass emergencies" turn into "public disorder". That's why he has written articles in "Business Continuity" journals, i.e. how the capitalist normality would be restored.

no1 wrote:
Also, it may be that your cognitive abilities are clouded by this witchhunt, but the document you link to attributes disorder to police treating crowds as though they are the problem and liable to 'mass panic'.

I am not the most intelligent guy in the world but I think I know how to read. See for example, Specificity of managing crowd behaviour in CBRN incidents in the Police CBRN consultancy:

"Managing scarcity: After effects of CBRN incident, unlike other kinds of disaster/ emergency, could create disunity in the public around access to scarce resources"

Does it ring a bell about Katrina? Of course I don't disagree that the approach proposed by J tries to limit police violence according to a graded model and towards "self-policing" and "democratization of crowd management". This does not make it less dangerous for the revolutionary development of social struggles. On the contrary, it might prove much more dangerous!

Steven wrote:
If they actually think that he is just pretending to be a communist for some reason in order to write good content for a good publication for some sort of nefarious ends. It doesn't make any sense.

It's obvious that this guy used his connections from the communist milieu and the social movements in order to perform the research for his Ph.D. What's most serious is that he didn't stop there. He pursued a career as a consultant of the police and other emergency services based on the collective experience he has managed to smuggle. It's obvious that he did it for money and climbing up the university ladder. It's not strange at all... The answer to the question why he is still involved in the "communist milieu" is very simple: no one bothered to question and criticize his practice till now...

radprole
Offline
Joined: 5-11-11
Nov 7 2011 20:40

And also this post by Blasto was pretty revealing also...:

Blasto wrote:
I too had pretty much bowed out, but I think this is worth posting up simply as it helps clarify who is been honest here and who isn't. Steven's 'why would he lie" line is probably equally relevant to a 'leading academic' going on public record.

Regarding the Chaos Theory article, this is from co-author Dr Clifford Stott:

Quote:
Following the death of a member of the public during the G20 protests in 2009 the Guardian Newspaper began a campaign to bring into question the tactics of the Metropolitan Police during the demonstration. The subsequent political crisis cascaded outward to bring into question the nature of public order policing across the U.K. Within this context I was asked to write a piece on the policing of crowds by Jane's Police Review. I wrote the article along with [J] and Steve Reicher. We made the argument that a central failure was a reliance on the use of force that flowed directly from the dominance of outdated psychological theory; theory that has become institutionalised in the police. The article was influential in that it stimulated a question asked of Commander Bob Broadhurst during his appearance before the Parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee. But more importantly it led to my involvement in the HMIC inquiry and the subsequent adoption of some of our core recommendations as the policy basis for the future of public order policing in England and Wales.

And here is Clifford Stott again:

Quote:
I suppose in a sense what I've been working on with [J]... is basically a scientific model, a theoretical model, of what makes collective behaviour in crowd events possible from a psychological point of view, so the psychology of crowd behaviour. And from that theoretical model, from that science, we've been been able to start asking very important - difficult but practically important questions about the way we manage crowds out in society, particularly at these critical times we get violence in political demonstrations, in football crowds and various other events like that.
avantiultras's picture
avantiultras
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Joined: 8-10-11
Nov 7 2011 21:08
lurdan wrote:
The article [http://www.discourseunit.com/arcp/3.htm] is a very cogent argument about the limits of academic work and the (limited) opportunities it offers for anything of use to the anti-capitalist movement. (Actually given the interest in the issues it raises I'd have thought it could usefully find a place in the Libcom library).

You're right, but on the other hand we should not forget what Samotnaf stressed in his post:

Samotnaf wrote:
Quote:
Samotnaf deliberately broke our site guidelines and publicly named a communist, his political affiliation and his employer on a site which he knows that employers, police and journalists read. This is out of order.

What do I care if he gets sacked as a cop consultant as a result? I'd regard it as a good result. But fat chance - he outed himself in an article in 2003 that links his University work and department to Aufheben and his ethnographic work. See Annual Review of Critical Psychology Volume 3, pages 88 to 114. If they gave a toss about his participation in Aufheben, they've had 8 years to give him the sack. On the contrary, they need the kind of innovative angles on things that he, fairly uniquely as far as I can see, provides.

Mike Harman
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Joined: 7-02-06
Nov 8 2011 03:07
Blasto wrote:
I too had pretty much bowed out, but I think this is worth posting up simply as it helps clarify who is been honest here and who isn't. Steven's 'why would he lie" line is probably equally relevant to a 'leading academic' going on public record.

Regarding the Chaos Theory article, this is from co-author Dr Clifford Stott:

Quote:
Within this context I was asked to write a piece on the policing of crowds by Jane's Police Review. I wrote the article along with [J] and Steve Reicher. We made the argument that a central failure was a reliance on the use of force that flowed directly from the dominance of outdated psychological theory; theory that has become institutionalised in the police.

Stott has already gone on public record saying that J authored the article - when adding his name to the list of authors. That leaves two possibilities then:

1. Stott added J's name as an author, then continued to maintain this when posting about the article about the internet (if we want to get into 'lying' we'd say that Stott lied twice).

2. J lied to Aufheben and by extension the wider milieu about authoring the article.

Which is exactly the same question that was raised hundreds of posts ago.

Quote:
And here is Clifford Stott again:
Quote:
I suppose in a sense what I've been working on with [J]... is basically a scientific model, a theoretical model, of what makes collective behaviour in crowd events possible from a psychological point of view, so the psychology of crowd behaviour. And from that theoretical model, from that science, we've been been able to start asking very important - difficult but practically important questions about the way we manage crowds out in society, particularly at these critical times we get violence in political demonstrations, in football crowds and various other events like that.

Again, I don't see that this is new.

J has publicly stated he worked on the ESIM model (the 'theoretical model'). Stott and Reicher have then taken that model to apply it to policing, crediting J for some of that work which he claims to neither have done nor support, but was prepared to take some academic credit for.

This once again is fundamentally the same thing - either J actively participated in the application of that model to policing (which for me would be absolutely crossing a line), or he has not done that but has allowed his name to be associated with it (which for me personally is stupid, but IMO crosses the 'stupid' line rather than a class line).

Then there's the further question of whether working on crowd psychology in the first place is compatible with being a communist - given that this model can and has been used for things like liberal policing strategies. For me personally if I'd worked on something like this (and reaching the conclusion that police make things worse in emergency situations by policing them - I haven't read the research but that appears to be the cliffs notes version), I'd be extremely pissed off if it then got used as part of a project to reform policing of protests. But I am not convinced that simply having done that kind of research at all is incompatible.

A while back on one of these threads SpikeyMike pointed out a very liberal article in a recent edition of Freedom making very similar arguments to Stott and Reicher. I'd be much more concerned with people writing for an 'anarchist' newspaper making those arguments in the newspaper, than someone who is associated with people who make similar arguments via their work.

Blasto
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Nov 9 2011 02:12
Quote:
This once again is fundamentally the same thing - either J actively participated in the application of that model to policing (which for me would be absolutely crossing a line), or he has not done that but has allowed his name to be associated with it (which for me personally is stupid, but IMO crosses the 'stupid' line rather than a class line).

And would this work, or this, or this, or contributing to this, or this constitute applying this work to policing?

Samotnaf
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Nov 9 2011 10:42

Joseph Kay replies:

Quote:
Everything you say proves nothing; everything we say proves that what J told us is true.

Thread locked before I go into another temper tantrum

Baderneiro Miseravel
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Nov 9 2011 21:07

The other thread had actually much more interesting and a focused discussion. Why was it closed?

Samotnaf
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Nov 10 2011 05:31

I said, when Ed originally suggested locking the thread:

Quote:
I realise that Ed's decision is to avoid having my article going to the top of the recent posts list and have a thread that many people have ignored (Valeriano is one of them, it seems) because it seems like something not very interesting and very internal to libcom. It's an appalling thread in which everything gets lost and confused amidst Joseph Kay's constant self-contradictions which the rest of libcom admin and their hangers-on have taken on trust and without showing the slightest attempt at independent reflection or self-reflection. A good reason (something a bit better than "this is critical of our cop collaborating mate - we prefer to keep such criticisms hidden under a mass and mess of constantly repeated confusion, and particularly in a thread that looks uninteresting") for locking this thread should be given, if there is one.

Then, when I pointed out that Dr.Who had outed himself in 2003:

Quote:
What do I care if he gets sacked as a cop consultant as a result? I'd regard it as a good result. But fat chance - he outed himself in an article in 2003 that links his University work and department to Aufheben and his ethnographic work. See Annual Review of Critical Psychology Volume 3, pages 88 to 114. If they gave a toss about his participation in Aufheben, they've had 8 years to give him the sack. On the contrary, they need the kind of innovative angles on things that he, fairly uniquely as far as I can see, provides.

Joseph Kay hit the roof and said, firstly quoting me:

Quote:
Samotnaf wrote:

Quote:
a collective line coming from Aufheben and Joseph Kay, which includes a constant evasion of all the points raised
Quote:
The problem with telling bare-faced lies like this is, should anyone bother to read the 350+ post clusterfuck they'll see that you're lying, and I and others have in fact made repeated, detailed responses totalling thousands of words (e.g. see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 for some of the more substantive examples). And of course I'm not the only person arguing against you, but the fiction the people disagreeing with you are "dupes" or an some other unthinking, uncritical automatons is easier to sustain if you pretend it's just me.
Anyway, there's already a long thread on this so we don't need to go over everything again from the top here. Thread locked

.

(I haven't put the urls for JK's links).
2 points:
I should not have said " a constant evasion of all the points raised" but rather " a constant evasion of most of the points raised". The failure to respond to Blasto's post, for example, illustrates this.
The text in which JD outs himself, quoted here by lurdan, is indicative of a classical intellectual mentality that thinks that if you simply articulate a contradiction that can be confronted practically in and against this society, that that is all you need to do; in fact, what you're doing is pre-empting a critique in order to deflect it - a more complex version of, "I don't mean to be rude but..." and then launch into a rude attack which you clearly mean to do. The article by Dr.Who is interesting insofar as it shows his practical failure to break from his career as a producer of a very recuperative ideology whilst at the same time, lucidly recognising (when applied to others) how some elements of recuperation in academia work (he even quotes positively something I wrote in the 1970s).
I'm not, by the way, totally totally opposed to work in academia - a Teaching assistant is low in the hierarchy, for instance, and probably hasn't much control over their work; there are other types of work which are far less ideological, far less useful to the state, and totally unrecuperative, than what Dr.Who does/did (e.g. astronomy or geology). I do about 90 hours a years' work teaching english to French engineering students (though possibly won't be able to do this any more, and haven't done since April). There's an ideological aspect to it - but it's not the main, central, aspect of it.

Mike Harman
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Nov 11 2011 03:23

http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/police-cbrn-consultancy.pdf

- this is the chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear stuff. It personally doesn't bother me that someone works on disaster response, since that's not to do with policing protests. If CBRN ends up including protests somehow (CBRNP?) then I would consider that differently, (and no I don't think an LED screen with their logo on it outside St Pauls counts).

http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/perceptions.pdf
http://www.i-psy.com/conferences/sixth_prog.php
http://www.liv.ac.uk/psychology/cpd/Stott_%26_Drury_%282000%29.pdf

All of these three look close to the line to me (possibly over it but I've not read the papers all the way through). However it's my understanding that [J] stopped working on anything to do with protests around 8 years ago (when these are from) because of these contradictions, which suggests the self reflection that is being claimed was lacking was actually there and responded to.

15 years ago I did an A Level sociology project, don't remember the exact title but it was something like "Police tactics at the anti-veal export protests." I really wanted to do something on the anti-roads protests, but the anti-veal export protests were a lot closer, and they were both showing up in "crap arrest of the week" in Schnews around that time or a bit earlier. Didn't care about animal rights stuff but did care about police brutality on protests, so did an interview with one protester about their treatment by the police and stuff like this. Did not remotely occur to me that this could have been the prelude to a decade of cop collaboration and contributed to the suppression of the class struggle if I had done though. But perhaps I should retire from all political activity retrospectively having conducted sociological academic research on protests and policing?

http://www.gmpa.gov.uk/d/scrutiny-of-major-events-policing-report.pdf

My understanding of this one is he advised them (Greater Manchester councillors, not actual police officers) on emergencies, then for policing of anything else referred them to Stott and Reicher. Again this is not really using protest research for policing protests is it, although it is contact with police/policing bodies but that in and of itself is not enough really. Everything here looks really bad on the surface, then when you start to unpick it, it is very mundane - especially some of the earlier work was leading towards some dodgy areas (albeit with good intentions like my A level project). Had he continued in the direction Stott and Reicher had I would not have this opinion, but as far as I can see that has not happened.

@Samotnaf, there was 19 hours between Blasto's post and yours claiming we failed to respond to it, some of which time I was asleep. Yet it's almost two weeks since jesuithitsquad's post here which you've yet to answer. So who is avoiding who?

Samotnaf
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Nov 11 2011 06:23

What exactly is there here in jesuitshitsquad's post that's worth replying to?This is what he wrote:

Quote:
Since you're in to publishing PMs I'd like to add this exchange to the record, edited for relevance:
Samatnof wrote:
JD (edited out name. Why do you insist on using his real name?) is very clearly NOT on the side of the social movement against capital despite his pretensions to the contrary and that his collaboration well deserves publicity (would you like to find yourself next to him on a demo, being treated as some guinea pig in his lab?); if you are capable of a modicum of clarity, you would see this is true.
And my response:
I wrote:
One quick point about your message, you asked if I would feel comfortable standing next to JD on a demo, and I will be completely honest and say I am uncertain. I will reflect on the question because I do think it does break down the matter to a very basic point.
That said, and I do say this with all sincerity and respect, if the same question were put to me in regards to you following this episode, I think I would have to say the same thing. I'm not sure I would feel comfortable with you having any of my personal details or knowledge of my activity because while I sincerely believe you to be committed to the class struggle, I feel you handled JD's information in an uncomradely and dangerous manner. Heaven forbid you ever find out something about me you find objectionable and google becomes awash with my name and other identifying information. All point scoring aside, this is my honest and sincere point of view at the moment, presented with all due respect.
As I said, I will reflect further on your question about JD. Will you commit to doing the same regarding my reservations about you?
And you never responded. Would it be fair of me to conclude from your lack of response that you're not really opposed to this society? I mean after all, you've 'ignored this very serious issue' and have shown an 'avoidance to answering a simple question.'
Or, is it more likely that you're busy and have forgotten to respond? Or maybe there are more important uses of your time? Do you see the point? It might be worthwhile to lay off the bombast just a bit because none of us are perfect, and anyone can draw a straight line between any two points, even if it doesn't make sense to do so.
Back to your initial question from the PMs, yes upon further reflection I think I would feel comfortable standing next to JD in a demo because nothing he's done, from what I've seen, has compromised individual security, and I really don't think his mass emergency work has compromised collective security. (Though I still believe your question is an important one to ask.) Conversely, I'm more certain than before that I would NOT want to stand next to you in a demo because you have shown a continual propensity for both handling personal details in haphazard (at best) manner and for drawing extreme conclusions from minimal or distorted information.
I still would be interested in finding out if my reservations give you second thoughts about how you've comported yourself in this debacle.
Now hopefully, I'll move on to doing something worthwhile with my very minimal time...

I could be boringly pedantic and say that it was only Ed's PM that was made public - in order to stop him locking the thread - and therefore the plural "PMs" is inaccurate. Was that worth replying to?

I could be boringly pedantic and say that I used JD's real name in a private message and that, besides, his name is plastered all over the internet in relation to this affair and only libcom in submission to JK's friend and comrade have not published it. Was that worth replying to?

I could boringly repeat myself and say that I don't think JD is a comrade in any way whatsoever and besides he's outed himself. Was that worth replying to?

I could kind of repeat myself and say that if I thought jesuitshitsquad was a cop collaborator masquerading as a comrade - ie truly "objectionable" - then I'd have no qualms about outing him to the movement against this society. If he is, then he is right not to want to stand next to me at a demo and the feeling is mutual. Was that worth replying to?

And yes - I had other things to do and forgot. Was that worth replying to?

You have shown how petty you have become, asking me to reply to something utterly petty.

And besides I'd decided not to post on this but went back on my decision, mainly to show how Dr Who had outed himself 8 years ago. But also because it's very difficult to not respond to bullshit attacks.

Someone, who gave me permission to use his PM as long as I didn't mention who he was, said

Quote:
I wouldn't say the work JD's done (or work that's been used by the police) is the worst thing about this. I believe he's been weak and crossed a line that shouldn't have been crossed... not for someone involved in revolutionary politics. I'm a forgiving kinda guy and if JD had held up his hands, admitted he'd fucked up and did something to rectify the situation, that would have been a minor problem. However, he has done exactly the opposite and tried to justify his conduct with loads of feeble excuses. Worst of all, Aufheben has colluded with all this and so has Libcom. And the resulting cover up is what stinks more than anything. If you fuck up, you come clean and sort it out, but pretending nothing's happened is poison.

I responded:

Quote:
You say "if JD had held up his hands, admitted he'd fucked up and did something to rectify the situation, that would have been a minor problem." Big "if". I agree to a certain extent, but you can't just say "sorry" and rectify a problem without massive upheavals, trauma even (in my experience- - talking about myself here; and my criticisable attitudes and roles were by no means as bad as JD's) if such a change is to be anything than cosmetic, designed to appease an onslaught, not designed to break through to some basic radical integrity. He's been avoiding the practical truth for years. See this very interesting article by him produced as part of this journal: http://www.discourseunit.com/arcp/3.htm . It in fact quotes me (the quote from Re-Fuse that lurdan put up) but cannot break from his ideological role in practice; practice is for others. And in fact justifies this ideological paid intellectual role even as he critiques it. But I agree, the cover-up, the denial, is insane and clearly shows the lack of serious commitment to the struggle against capital on the part of libcom admin and Aufheben: if you can't deal with something so basic as this, the kind of thing that 30 years ago would have been met with violence or at least the threat of it (in Greece, the guy would have to leave the country) then all the talk of Oakland, etc. is just an easy cop-out (pun intended) for not dealing with the shit in your own backyard. As you say, poison.

In fact, "poison" isn't the best word - more like a virus infecting everything that libcom admin say and do, everything their fellow travellers say and do. Every time they/you say something against the cops or the state, I think about how you avoid attacking the state and the cops where it most counts, where it actually has some practical effect - in your own real lives, in this situation that's part of this milieu.
The weight of indifference descends like some mind-numbing fog, obscuring the most basic things. Anger gets caricatured as "hyperbole" or some other way of not looking at and doing something independently of the immediate support of your precious little scene. The familiarity of this family breeds contempt - mine, and the secret contempt you have for yourselves and each other. You can't oppose the state and yet hide this cover-up from yourselves when it concerns someone close or the friend of someone close, when it concerns the "milieu", which is showing itself to be as rotten as the society it pretends to oppose. The 30 years of counter-revolution have embedded themselves in the racket mentality that sees no critique, hears no critique, speaks no critique when it comes to those within their vicious circles of friends.

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jesuithitsquad
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Nov 12 2011 03:11

So, if other people don't respond to your questions they are not really committed communists and not opposed to capitalism, but if you don't respond it's because the questions were just too petty for you? My questions were sincere, something you should have known from my apology and the tone of my PM.

Yet, you still haven't answered the main question. Does the fact that multiple posters here now have reservations about their dealings with you give you any pause, whatsoever, to how you've handled this situation?

In case you'll lower yourself to respond to some more questions, how is it that you are empowered to be judge, jury, and executioner? Even if you're right about everything you've asserted, what gives you the right to unilaterally determine his punishment ('losing his job would be a good outcome')? Even if it were a cut and dry case, and quite clearly this is anything but, how do you, as an individual, have the right to do this? It just doesn't strike me as a very communist approach.

Please, don't give the "he outed himself," (an excuse after the fact) answer or the "his name is already plastered everywhere"
(as if this just magically happened and you weren't the one doing the plastering) one; these are simply not legitimate arguments.

The victim card about the PM is ridiculous. You gave me permission in your PM to publish it if I wished.

It's really quite amazing to see you compare Steven. to Stalin for using the word disagreement instead of blood feud or whatever phrase best describes your single-minded focus on a rather obscure issue. All this in the same post in which you overtly claim that anyone who might disagree with you likely does so because they also have something to hide. The level of unintentional self-parody in this fiasco is unreal.

Samotnaf
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Nov 12 2011 03:57

I'll answer most of this later, as I've got to go to work, but it's obvious I didn't do this merely as an individual separate from everybody else - I did this in conjunction with the TPTG, who are 7 people.

As for the process of producing the original article, here's something I posted in a PM to some other people:

Late January the tptg contacted me (I live in France) and 4 others in London about the links to JD's various online stuff. I was in favour of going public after contacting the others in Auf. Others also wanted to contact them, and one of us who knew them contacted G from Auf who said, "I had no idea that J 's research had gone that far". She was asked to provide a personal email address, which the common friend knew, but rightly wanted her approval before giving it out. But she finally said that anyone who wanted to should contact the email address for Aufheben; but since in the past the tptg had always got J answering their emails, it seemed a pointless thing to do. I was not against contacting JD in some other way but, living in France, I asked the 4 people in London how this could be done, and got no response - for various reasons: 1 was in favour of at least initially a limited degree of publicity through the Crisis list - but then her boyfriend got nicked on a demo and that occupied her mind up until September; another, the common friend of Auf and us, seemed aloof and disinterested; another was against publicity but in favour of contacting J but didn't do so; another was in favour of publicity but felt seriously tense about it all and explicitly said it was up to others. For various personal reasons, including, but certainly not only, the discouraging attitudes of at least one of the people in London, whom I was very close to, I let it slide up until July, when I knew I could meet the tptg in just over a week in France, so set to writing a first draft, finished on 8/8/11. This was given to the tptg, another Greek and 2 former members of Aufheben, plus one other person who had stayed at my place several years previously: 8 copies in all, clearly marked: "This is an uncompleted draft document intended for discussion. It is certainly not intended to be the final published version, which will be published online on 'libcom blog' later this month."
A few days later I got an email from someone I knew in London who was a friend of J. and all the rest, who told me not to be a jerk, not to publicise this, as this would ruin the Aufheben project and besides J.'s a nice guy who naively allowed his name to be used on the "Knowledge-based policing... " article, saying the now standard line that this team's research was useless to the cops and saying we should have contacted JD. She ignored everything other than her own subjective feelings about it all. An awkward phone call and a few strained emails between us later resolved nothing. Just 9 days after distributing the first draft of the "Strange Case", Aufheben sent a critique of this draft to my personal email address (which probably the previous mentioned woman had given them, without asking me first) as if it was a finished text, a critique which only differs from their public refutation of the tptg's first "Open Letter..." (the one libcom called a smear and put a Pinnochio picture on) in that it had specific things against pro-situationist attitudes, me being moralistic and against my "character assassination" which were kind of relevant only to my text. It suggested we contact them directly, but in an arrogant manner not conducive to a positive response. It was entitled "Not for circulation". It was aimed at stopping publication. It also mentioned the fact that "P" had been given the personal email addresses of the rest of Auf. Nobody knew who this P was, as all those we knew beginning with the letter P had had no contact with Auf. I was in London for about 10 days during which libcom asked me for the draft of the text I was planning to put up, which they'd heard about, so they could form an opinion of it, so they could kind of pre-moderate it (not exactly of course - since I , along with anyone else, could put it up, but making it clear it would be taken down immediately; nobody mentioned the fact that Joseph Kay had been a part of Auf in the past and was very close to them). I had to deal with several emails from various people who clearly thought I was going about it the wrong way, but had no suggestions of doing it better other than contact the very person who we found had betrayed (in a very basic fundamental way) our own and others notion that he was in some way on our side against this society and these were from people in London who had had a far greater ability to contact the guy than either me or the tptg (one was the friend whose boyfriend's trial was coming up, a trial that could have led to imprisonment in the wake of the August riots, so I can, at least, excuse her - in fact, the case, in September, was dismissed before the prosecution was even heard). Me and the tptg decided to do more research and keep quiet to almost everybody because it only brought endless obstruction. Just less than 2 days before i left, I discovered the "Chaos Theory" text (having been alerted of its existence by the tptg), which at that time we didn't realise was online, in the British Library in Collingwood on the edge of London. I was even more astonished and disgusted and furious than I felt when I first heard about JD at the end of January. The rest you already know - slight delays because of further research, the tptg's involvement in the struggles in Greece etc. before the publication of the 3 texts. The tptg, of course, have no further desire to contribute to libcom, other than maybe (I don't know) to make a final statement.
I give you all this information, these petty, probably boring, details, as a way of asking you - how could we have done this better, how did we do this "all wrong"? Next time, perhaps, I'll be able to be perfect.

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
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Nov 12 2011 13:08
Quote:
I had to deal with several emails from various people who clearly thought I was going about it the wrong way, but had no suggestions of doing it better other than contact the very person who we found had betrayed (in a very basic fundamental way) our own and others notion that he was in some way on our side

So you were actually repeatedly advised to do so and ignored it? And were then surprised that people found this a weird approach to take, given that the subject is by far the most obvious primary source in any investigation? I mean seriously, what did you think would happen if you, as the main person interested in researching the subject, talked to him? That he'd put in a call to GCHQ, trace your IP, send in Mi5 to intimidate you?

Quote:
The tptg, of course, have no further desire to contribute to libcom

So because they've had an argument with libcom's admins they don't want to contribute to the site? That's a bit sad tbh - even if they don't trust J to work with any more that seems to me to be overkill, given that libcom's only direct involvement is that one of its members has worked on Aufheben before and they've collectively taken a position that J's innocent. I mean fuck I get into disagreements with people all the time (including libcom admins), sometimes quite heated ones, doesn't mean I would stop working with them unless they specifically had done something wrong.

no1
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Nov 12 2011 17:01
Samotnaf wrote:
I'll answer most of this later, as I've got to go to work

btw., have you ever heard of concision? It's this amazing method to avoid wasting people's time.

Blasto
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Joined: 17-11-10
Nov 13 2011 11:27
Mike Harman wrote:
http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/police-cbrn-consultancy.pdf

- this is the chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear stuff. It personally doesn't bother me that someone works on disaster response, since that's not to do with policing protests. If CBRN ends up including protests somehow (CBRNP?) then I would consider that differently, (and no I don't think an LED screen with their logo on it outside St Pauls counts).

Ok, well everyone changes their mind. You had said:

Quote:
This once again is fundamentally the same thing - either J actively participated in the application of that model to policing (which for me would be absolutely crossing a line)...

So this document describes a police consultancy, Its not research, its the direct application of that research to policing. And why is 'CRBN' such a get-out? The first third isn't about CRBN per se, its about public order policing (see below). This is then applied to CRBN in the subsequent two sections. Its police tactics (graded policing) to control crowds - exactly the same proposition put forward in Chaos Theory. But like I say, everyone changes their minds. Principles bend in order to deal with inconveniences...

Heres the first section of that consultancy document - it pretty unequivocally related to policing as far as I can see (not least because police are the recipients):

Quote:
Psychology of crowd behaviour and public disorder
Crowd behaviour is meaningful, limited
• Different crowds have different identities (i.e. norms, values and aims)
• Knowledge based policing means understanding the identity of each
crowd
• Certain police practices can contribute to disorder through:
• Empowering a crowd (turning an aggregate into a unity)
• Legitimizing anti-police elements
• Successful policing of potentially disorderly crowds involves
• Communication of police aims
• Facilitating the crowd’s legitimate aims in order to empower self-
policing in the majority
o A graded response to potential disorder

It finishes with

Quote:
These issues are relevant not only for Bronze command etc but just as much for the most junior officers on the ground

This is absolutely, unequivocally training the police in tactics dealing with public disorder.

Then there's these articles, "close to the line" as you put it. Of course the line has already moved quite a bit.

http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/perceptions.pdf
http://www.i-psy.com/conferences/sixth_prog.php
http://www.liv.ac.uk/psychology/cpd/Stott_%26_Drury_%282000%29.pdf

Your response was:

Quote:
All of these three look close to the line to me (possibly over it but I've not read the papers all the way through). However it's my understanding that [J] stopped working on anything to do with protests around 8 years ago (when these are from) because of these contradictions, which suggests the self reflection that is being claimed was lacking was actually there and responded to.

The first is a piece of research conducted by J. He questioned 80 serving police officers just before they received training on crowd psychology as part of their police diploma course, and also a wider group of Scottish riot police (PSU). Here's the subject matter of the questionnaire:

Quote:
Measures were taken of perceptions of and reactions to crowds in terms of the following themes: (a) heterogeneous composition (“People of all sorts can be found among crowds”); (b) dichotomous composition (“Professional agitators are skilled at inciting violent behavior among previously peaceful members of demonstrating/football crowds”); (c) homogeneous threat (“Once violence starts in a demonstrating/football crowd, everyone nearby is liable to join in”); (d) coercive methods (“Demonstrating/football crowds must be strictly con- trolled in order to prevent widespread violence erupting”); (e) tactical reasons for treating the crowd as a unit (“By the time the police take any serious action against violent members of a demonstrating/football crowd, most genuinely peaceful crowd members will have retreated to a place of safety. Most people remaining want conflict with the police”); and ( f ) attributions (“When violence occurs involving demonstrating/football crowds, the police are rarely responsible for either the initiation or any escalation of such violence”).

The aim of the research was to demonstrate that their ESIM crowd behaviour model:

Quote:
has not only theoretical significance-demonstrating the role of identity and out-group action in structuring in- group norms-but also practical importance.

This is absolutely, unequivocally applying ESIM to public order policing - specifically demonstrations.

The second piece is an international conference on investigative psychology, delivered by and to a mixed group of academics, police and prison staff. J's involvement was to part deliver a session called THE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF 'PUBLIC DISORDER'. His particular input was on Collective Action and Psychological Change: Intergroup Dynamics at an Anti-Road Protest

This is absolutely, unequivocally applying ESIM to the development public order policing - specifically using protest movements that he'd participated in as an example. I call that a downright betrayal of his fellow protestors, not least those who'd agreed to be involved in his research because he was "one of them"..

The third is an extraordinary piece of research recuperating the poll tax riot for the Tavistock Institute (a favourite of conspiracy theorists). It explores the crowd and police perceptions and response to events as they happened. We can only speculate about the Institute's motivation for this research, but we can be sure it won't be to further the aims of those who rioted.

As for the GMPA policy document, J advised a Commission established by Greater Manchester Police Authority, not just 'councillors". The consultation is described in their words as

Quote:
Greater Manchester Police Authority’s review of major events policing was conducted between August 2009 and March 2010. Using a variety of research methods including specific case studies, Commission members gathered evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of Greater Manchester Police in policing different types of events focusing on high profile events, protests and football matches.

The reason for the commission was because:

Quote:
Members of the Police Authority raised some concerns regarding the policing of the G20 summit protests and the human rights issues that had emerged. Further discussion was prompted by a question received from a member of the public concerning the police tactic referred to in the media as ‘kettling’ and used by
the Metropolitan Police Service at the G20 summit protests on 1st April 2009.

It had absolutely nothing to do with emergencies at all - where to you get that 'understanding'?

Your opinion that Everything here looks really bad on the surface, then when you start to unpick it, it is very mundane is the exact opposite of reality. The apologists for this activity present it as mundane, but when you unpick it, it is utterly insidious.

lines
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Nov 13 2011 03:25

I have no connection with Blasto, or Wellclose Square, and do not know who they are. But they do seem to be getting the analysis of this situation correct, in my opinion. Who else agrees with them?

Anyway, I would urge readers to read the above post from Blasto carefully.

25 years ago ‘Aufheben’ would have been metaphorically, and possibly literally, run out of town.

Times have changed.

Samotnaf
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Nov 13 2011 20:32

This is my last post on this thread. And if I feel tempted to respond to provocations, calumnies, repeated stuff that merely show how little people want to actually look into what I wrote, what the tptg wrote or what loads of other people have shown or any other pointless evasions of the practical truth, I shall phone up my support counsellor on Libcom Anonymous to restrain me from indulging in what is rapidly becoming a dangerous addiction.

I have answered - probably far too fully, particularly someone who has clearly made known his preferences for the cop collaborator over me - jesuitshitsquad's post enough.

Blasto's post (if it was really needed after all the other information that's out here) clearly shows that the whole of libcom admin and their hangers-on cannot do the most obvious facing up to reality that a 12 year old would be able to do. But I guess, having dug a hole for yourselves you feel it's beneath your dignity to admit it and will continue to bury yourselves alive.

RobRay
:

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
I had to deal with several emails from various people who clearly thought I was going about it the wrong way, but had no suggestions of doing it better other than contact the very person who we found had betrayed (in a very basic fundamental way) our own and others notion that he was in some way on our side

So you were actually repeatedly advised to do so and ignored it? And were then surprised that people found this a weird approach to take, given that the subject is by far the most obvious primary source in any investigation?

Do you read? I presume you can. But sometimes I wonder.
I said:

Quote:
I was not against contacting JD in some other way but, living in France, I asked the 4 people in London how this could be done, and got no response

Read again before you write about something you clearly wilfully avoid having any idea of what you're writing about.
The rest of Auf made no attempt to contact either me or the TPTG or anybody else we were on speaking terms with, despite knowing our concerns. Until their "Not to be communicated " email which insisted on continuing to keep this under cover, secret, where they could reduce everything to hearsay, gossip and Chinese whispers whilst accusing us of reducing everything to hearsay, gossip and Chinese whispers (when everything we discovered was public, written by J openly, though not so open that anybody in the so-called revolutionary /activist milieu could know about it) . Hearsay, gossip and Chinese whispers could only be remedied by publicity, the prospect of which they were shitting themselves over whilst trying to prevent .

But of course, we should have talked to someone who we increasingly discovered was covering up his own history and therefore would have been yet another of those conversations (even if we were in a physical position to have one, which we clearly weren't) which sheds obscurity onto everything.

As for what you say about the TPTG, your comment:

Quote:
I mean fuck I get into disagreements with people all the time (including libcom admins), sometimes quite heated ones, doesn't mean I would stop working with them unless they specifically had done something wrong.

- libcom admin's picture of Pinnochio and the lie that what the TPTG were writing was a smear tactic indicated a very clear partisanship (when, if nothing else, libcom has always been eclectic) on behalf of someone whose deep recuperation of things radical spreads a virus throughout the whole milieu of those who protect him. It's not something petty, along the lines of political role-bound arguments you're clearly used to having. It's not a trivial question of someone farting in the broad church of anti-capitalism. It's fundamental. Not some argument where everybody can play some debating society role designed to reinforce one-upmanship separations and pretend it's all a game. Our lives are at stake in this. And anyone who avoids the essential contradictions in all this sick story is just a pretentious phoney, wilfully incapable of understanding basics.

Wordsmiths like you like to get into endless discussion without consequences because decision, the alpha and omega of all progress, scares you. Like all consistently ideological writing, you write not to clear the air but to fill it with smog. To continue participating in such a fruitless game of Scrabble would be doing the exact thing you like to do. I shan't respond to any more of this deliberate polluted confusionism.

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joyanu
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Nov 15 2011 04:16

hai

i thing not interest so delete that article

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waslax
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Nov 15 2011 09:10
lines wrote:
I have no connection with Blasto, or Wellclose Square, and do not know who they are. But they do seem to be getting the analysis of this situation correct, in my opinion. Who else agrees with them?

I do. If I didn't, I'd be arguing against them. Those arguing against them are really just playing a game of smoke and mirrors; and it's really quite pathetic. I feel sorry for anyone who can't see that.

lines
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Nov 15 2011 13:13

Thank you for replying to this question, waslax (I don't know who waslax is).

Others should also state what side of the line they are on, For the sake of integrity. Several people, mainly on the Libcom administration team, have said that they support 'Aufheben' in this affair. So we know which side of the line they are on.

But they will say that the line I have drawn here is spurious of course, before calling me a complete mental, or as boringly banal and pathetic as Boris Boring and the Pathetics (a little known Soviet pop band from the 1950's...)

Those who are uncomfortable with what 'Aufheben' have done, and are doing, should say so. This deciding on which side of the line one wants to be on will then, hopefully, force some sort of 'tipping point'.

lines
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Nov 16 2011 12:28

This is the post I sent to the 'Undercover Cops' thread, but was deleted by admin - is it OK to post it here?

Dear Ed,

I don't know what Sam(otnaf) said [in the Undercover Cops thread], but it is interesting that you term it a 'vendetta'. [Samotnaf's post was deleted].[By the way, I have nothing to do with samotnaf, and do not know him].

I guess you too do not see a problem with the cross-over of activities between sociological police analysis (day job) and 'Aufheben' by JD?

This is explicitly related to this thread... as is the book by G K Chesterton, 'The Man Who Was Thursday'.

This century old novel, which was written by a right-wing journalist of some literary repute at the time, describes the composition of an anarchist group in which all the members turn out to be police spies...

As I thought when I first heard of the 'Aufheben' scandal:

GK Chesterton would smile.

It is odd, it seems, by Samotnaf's deleted post, that no discussion of the similarities between the topic of this thread [ the Undercover Cops one] and the topic of the Aufheben scandal is going to be allowed.

GK Chesterton must be rolling with laughter.

Mike Harman
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Nov 16 2011 13:19
Blasto wrote:
Mike Harman wrote:
http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/police-cbrn-consultancy.pdf

- this is the chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear stuff. It personally doesn't bother me that someone works on disaster response, since that's not to do with policing protests. If CBRN ends up including protests somehow (CBRNP?) then I would consider that differently, (and no I don't think an LED screen with their logo on it outside St Pauls counts).

Ok, well everyone changes their mind. You had said:
stuff

Quote:
This once again is fundamentally the same thing - either J actively participated in the application of that model to policing (which for me would be absolutely crossing a line)...

Well my mind hasn't changed, although I should probably have said 'policing protests' which I think is a clear line that afaik no-one disagrees on (i.e. an 'absolute' line). What I've read of the CBRN stuff (which is not all of what's been linked so I may well be wrong, I can barely keep up with this thread) is it is basically telling the police not to police disaster scenarios (because crowds can self-regulate in emergency situations etc. etc.), especially not to police them as if they are public order situations (because they are not, unless you turn them into one etc. etc.).

I do not have knee jerk revulsion to someone working on emergency response stuff or saying something like that. I might if they were claiming to be a 'radical academic' based off it or similar but no such claim has been made, in fact the opposite.

Let's compare that to say the article SpikeyMike found in Freedom (which I don't think is online but it did not sound good from his description), which was pushing the same line as Stott/Reicher on police reform in an 'anarchist' newspaper around the same time as the bookfair. That for me is far more damaging but no-one as far as I know has investigated the authors of the Freedom piece.

So on the scale of things in relation to the police, for me there is a bit of distance between working on disaster response, and trying to reform policing of protests. That doesn't mean you have to agree they are both fine, just that they are not the same thing.

Quote:
And why is 'CRBN' such a get-out?

Well a get out of what? There are several accusations being made, and this isn't an exhaustive list:

1. that he is actively pushing the Stott/Reicher liberal policing stuff as part of his work (and even via Aufheben).

2. that he is lying about doing this work to the milieu (to Aufheben and everyone else, or that Aufheben and libcom are wittingly or unwittingly colluding with that lie - I have no reason to wittingly do that, have never met this bloke (with the possible exception of having bought copies of Aufheben from their stall on the bookfair three years but not sure if that was him or not), I could be an unwitting dupe of course).

3. that allowing himself to be associated with that work is as bad as actually doing it, even if he didn't actually do it.

4. that the work which he's been open about doing ('CBRN', research on protests from 8-10 years ago etc.) is also beyond the pale because it brings him into contact with the police (in a capacity different from reporting a burglary to get insurance or similar). Or that working on CBRN is no different to working on protests because they both get treated as public order situations anyway, or that CBRN disasters could turn into protests due to heavy policing and this might be a catalyst for class struggle etc.

5. That the academic research that he did on the anti-roads movement and the poll tax several years ago was equivalent (or even worse than) to snitching ('infiltrating' protests groups then giving information to the police).

Now I disagree with the factual basis of #1 and #2 based on what I have seen from Aufheben. Because I disagree with that factual basis, I disagree even more with the fact that people went ahead with publishing stuff despite knowing that was disputed and without verifying with the person involved. Samotnaf's explanation of why they went ahead anyway does not cut it for me (as one of the people who asked him to check that stuff before publishing). Nor does his comparison with Mark Stone - or if we're going to do that we can start with how people went about handling the discovery. If environmental activists can confront an undercover police officer in person then TPTG/Samotnaf should be able to manage an e-mail to an academic.

Not to mention people opening up sock puppet accounts to agree with themselves while their cheerleaders accuse others of 'smoke and mirrors'.

All the energy rightly or wrongly expended on both sides around this point, has completely obfuscated having a serious discussion about points #3, #4 and #5, which are not factually disputed but the implications of them are. For me I am spending all the time I have for this keeping up with this thread/replying and still haven't read the fucking articles in question properly yet. However what I've seen of the CBRN (not 'chaos theory' etc.) does not look de-facto beyond the pale for me, although it has obviously led to a lot of associations which could be problematic like the continued association with Stott and Reicher even if it looks like that mainly goes in the other direction. I'd personally steer very clear of doing work like that - I have worked in NHS psychiatric hospitals before doing very low level temp/admin work and did not feel comfortable with that (because it 'associated' me with clinical psychiatrists in that I had to speak to them every few days), although I don't think doing shitty temp jobs excludes me from being a communist.

Quote:
Heres the first section of that consultancy document - it pretty unequivocally related to policing as far as I can see (not least because police are the recipients):
Quote:
Psychology of crowd behaviour and public disorder
Crowd behaviour is meaningful, limited
• Different crowds have different identities (i.e. norms, values and aims)
• Knowledge based policing means understanding the identity of each
crowd
• Certain police practices can contribute to disorder through:
• Empowering a crowd (turning an aggregate into a unity)
• Legitimizing anti-police elements
• Successful policing of potentially disorderly crowds involves
• Communication of police aims
• Facilitating the crowd’s legitimate aims in order to empower self-
policing in the majority
o A graded response to potential disorder

And this is talking about crowds that are in the middle of a radiological, biological, chemical or nuclear incident - so their 'legitimate aims' are not being irradiated, poisoned, infected etc.

Quote:
Then there's these articles, "close to the line" as you put it. Of course the line has already moved quite a bit.

http://jdarchive.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/perceptions.pdf
http://www.i-psy.com/conferences/sixth_prog.php
http://www.liv.ac.uk/psychology/cpd/Stott_%26_Drury_%282000%29.pdf

Right, those look specifically different to the CBRN work - of course since they are research on protests movements, however you did not respond to my point that he stopped doing this stuff 8 years ago (as far as I can tell from the account that has been given). Having done research on protests (which I have also not read in full either) 8 years ago does not mean he is working with the police to pacify protests and this is something that needed to be urgently exposed, which is what is continually being claimed. I really need to read that stuff to see how bad it actually is, or whether it's being presented as bad, which I have not done.

Quote:
It had absolutely nothing to do with emergencies at all

Hence the referral to Stott/Reicher rather than consulting on the protest bits.

Quote:
- where to you get that 'understanding'?

From private correspondence, that particular part of it seemed OK to reproduce since there is no new personal information in there. I do not like the fact that apparently I know something that you don't (which frankly is probably about the only thing since I'm way behind on the actual papers), but neither have you said how you got on e-mailing Aufheben to ask them directly about some of these disputed details.

Blasto
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Nov 17 2011 01:50

In Mike's post above you have it all. Regardless of what is said, of what is written, of what has been done, there is aways an excuse. A distraction. A justification. An alibi. Even an acceptance that he "crossed a line" is twisted into an attempt to legitimise or trivialise it.

J claimed authorship of all the articles discussed in this thread. Whether he wrote every word or none of them is immaterial. He claimed them.

He has trained police in crowd control. Regardless of what imagined scenarios were conjured up to do that, when he trained police in concepts such as ESIM and tactics such as "graded responses to disorder", he sanctioned crowd manipulation and police violence.

Just last year he contributed to making one of the country's most notorious police forces more effective in controlling protest. I don't care how he described himself when doing that, what badge he wore, that is what he did.

He has also conducted research on protests, including road protests and the poll tax riot. He has used the findings of that research to further the aims of the police and State - in papers, at conferences and for outfits such as the Tavistock Institute. I don't care whether it was three, five or eight or ten years ago. He did it. He protested with others, had them disclose their perceptions and experiences and fed that directly back to policing and crowd control 'experts' and, as we have discovered, to the police themselves. There's a whole load of words to describe that kind of behaviour, but I'll keep this post clean.

I don't need Aufheben (or Libcom for that matter) to mediate, to offer up excuses. He was contributing to crowd control and actively collaborating with cops (and specifically with regard to policing protest) in 2001, he was still doing it in 2010. What Aufheben, Mike and the little scene he is part of have offered has been an avoidance, a distortion and increasingly a justification of that single irrefutable fact.

This is my last post here.

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subprole
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Nov 17 2011 19:17

The Domination of Pro-Revolutionary Politics by the Middle Classes.

(has this article already been posted?)

Spikymike
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Nov 18 2011 16:34

I did refer and link to this on another related thread but can't just find it again now.

Much of the content relates also to the discussion on the 'Pro-revolutionaries and academia' thread which I tried to encourage in my posts there, particularly numbers 115 and 121.

Worth another mention I suppose.

lettersjournal
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Dec 14 2011 18:34

It was repeated several times that Aufheben would send special, secret information exonerating JD to people who contacted them directly. Did anyone do this? What did Aufheben send?

lettersjournal
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Jan 3 2012 05:37

Can I take the silence to mean that nobody received the secret information from Aufheben?

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libcom
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Jan 3 2012 07:38

Admin note: Users may be unaware that 'lettersjournal' has already participated extensively in this thread as 'whatisinevidence'. Therefore, he is well aware that there is no 'secret evidence'. Rather, some people spoke to Aufheben and heard their explanation, which has been recounted at great length on this thread (e.g. here and here). Contact details were provided if people wanted to independently verify this (e.g. here).

Presumably while waiting a month then bumping the thread under a new username, lettersjournal has forgotten all this, and is in no way making up claims of 'secret evidence' in order to troll roll eyes

lettersjournal
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Jan 3 2012 18:02

Throughout this thread, Joseph K urged people to contact Aufheben so they could so clear, verifiable proof that the allegations against JD were not true. Some people discussed doing this and reporting back, but reading through the thread again I can't find a post where someone does this. Here are some posts where this is discussed:

http://libcom.org/forums/feedback-content/why-article-has-been-removed-07102011?page=11#comment-450450
http://libcom.org/forums/feedback-content/why-article-has-been-removed-07102011?page=11#comment-450451
http://libcom.org/forums/feedback-content/why-article-has-been-removed-07102011?page=11#comment-450701

If I missed where someone reports back on the evidence provided by Aufheben, please post a link to the post.

mons
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Jan 3 2012 20:06

i got aufheben's email, which i found convincing - it wasn't made up!